July 25, Thursday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Barry Kang of Symphony Church in Boston, was originally posted on April 4, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for Today

Why Sing a New Song?

Psalm 33:3 (NIV)

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. 

As a young Christian, wishing at times that we would sing some new songs during the worship service, I would look to verses like Psalm 33:3 as validation for my desire.  However, upon examining my motivation, I recognized that it was because I was (a little) bored of the old songs (which indicated that my heart wasn’t in the right place).   

So why does the psalmist encourage us to sing a new song to the Lord? It turns out, the answer has everything to do with God and very little to do with us!  We sing a new song to God with our lives and lips as a celebration of the ever- newness of the living God with whom we are in a love-relationship. We sing a new song to the Lord as a declaration that we will not be satisfied with our present understanding of who he is—for he is far greater!  We sing a new song as an expression of trust that God is not only the God of our past but also our present and future. We are to sing new songs because God is still working in us, living among us and shaping and directing us.

Sometimes we can get stuck living in our past glories when it comes to God.  We may reminisce about the days when we were passionate for God and resign ourselves to think that it may happen again.  Well, God is not done with us yet! Let’s ask God today to bring freshness to our hearts even if our relationships with Him have gone stale. 

Prayer: Father, I thank You that You’re not done with me yet, that I have yet to experience and know Your full glory and majesty.  Until then, help me to keep growing in mind and heart, that I may constantly have an urge to sing new songs of Your continuing faithfulness in my life.  In Jesus’s name, I pray. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today:  2 Kings 7


Lunch Break Study

Read Isaiah 43:16-19 (NIV): This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,  17who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”

Questions to Consider

  1. Isaiah was speaking to the Israelites who would one day be exiled in Babylon.  How does Isaiah introduce God in verses 16-17? Why would this be significant?
  2. Why does God ask the Israelites to no longer dwell in the past?  Since God does not contradict himself, what does he mean here?
  3. What is the new thing God is doing in Isaiah 43:19 (cf. Isaiah 43:20-21; 2:3; 65:17-18)?

Singing new songs to God does not mean we forsake the old.  God is still the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is still the God of the exodus.  He is still the God who saved and has loved us through Jesus Christ. But God is not done with us yet.  We have not yet given unto the Lord the fullest praise that is due to him because we still haven’t fully comprehended his majesty and worth.  Until that day comes, there will always be room for new songs!

Note

  1. In verses 16-17, Isaiah reminds the people of Israel that God is the God of the Exodus, who brought them through the Dead Sea and defeated the Egyptian armies pursuing them.  God is mighty, savior, deliverer and protector. For the Jews living in exile away from Israel this was an important reminder that what God had done in the past he could do it again.
  2. It may seem odd that after reminding his listeners about the great work that God did in the past, he tells them to forget the former things and not to dwell in their past.  Of course, God is not telling the Israelites to disregard what he had done in the past; instead, he tells them to forget their former ways. In other words, they are not to live by their old expectations of God, for He is doing a new thing, and certainly not in their old sinful ways of life.
  3. The new thing that God is doing in Isaiah 43 is to regather his chosen people in Jerusalem so that they can give him praise among the nations.  God will be praised among the gentiles now as well as the Jewish people.

Evening Reflection

Are there ways that you have grown in your understanding and experience of God in recent times?  In your journal, write your own song of praise. It doesn’t have to rhyme, be long or deep, but it ought to be authentic, which means it needs come from your heart; then sing your new song unto God! 

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